My body is my body and it has its fair share of issues, but it’s mine. And, aside from a little too much caffeine and a little too little sleep, I take pretty decent care of it lately. Self-confidence is something that comes and goes with me. I’ll go a few weeks feeling great about my body, my work and myself and then one morning wake up and I feel like I’ve gained 10lbs (but haven’t), that my entire career so far is a massive failure (it never is) and that I’m a failing at everything in life (I never am). Days like that suck, and it’s so easy to let yourself be pulled into a downward spiral of self-doubt.
My “fitness journey” is less of a journey than it is a turning point. If I wanted to feel good – or even close to good – I had to work at it. So I do, regularly. I choose to make the best of my situation every day and have absolutely fallen in love with the process. I adore running (duh), yoga, strength training and spending time cooking delicious food. Working out and tracking meals has become something I love to do because it makes me feel healthy, happy, and confident. It even helps me manage my anxiety and bad moods, to the point where I less often feel that horrible feeling, that my life has no meaning.
Running taught me to love my body and appreciate it for all the things it could do. Running came into my life at the perfect time. Just when I was in need of something that could open my eyes to the world that I was letting pass me by and needed a little reminder to love myself, running became my beacon of hope. As my body transformed, both inside and out, with running, I fell in love. I may not have the body of an elite runner, but I could care less about that at the moment. I can get outside and go for a run, and for that I am proud and I love my body for that. It’s unfortunate, but we’ve been trained — by society, by our own insecurities, by the ads we see on TV — to feel as though we need to look a certain way in order to do certain things, act a certain way, or flaunt a certain level of confidence. However, read this closely: this is wrong. You CAN. You can do these things, regardless of what your body looks like. You DO NOT need to have a perfect body to have permission to do anything. Regardless of how you look, you should be able to make the same, self-servicing, self-caring decisions you would have made otherwise.
In the past few months I may have over indulged more often than I usually do. And I may have missed a few workouts. But I missed those workouts because I was traveling and spending time with people that I love. I over indulged because I was enjoying the moment with new found, and old found, friends. I have been so broken at times, but I have been surrounded by people that don't make me feel the need to prove myself. I have gained honesty. I have gained lifelong friends. I have gained new memories and moments that now define the life that I once almost let pass me by.
I am by no means perfect - ask anyone that has allowed me to open up to them this year - but I am me. 100%. I used to try to deny that. I used to try to change that. I am done trying to be someone else. I am strong and brave. I took back control of my life and no one person and no one ideal will ever again take that away from me. We are all different for a reason, but learning to appreciate those differences is often difficult. And, that’s okay. Learning to embrace our uniqueness takes time, just like everything else.
The last thing I want to mention is that everyone on this earth has something good inside of him or her. Even that person you think you hate has something to offer. Seeing the best in people is sometimes hard to do. But what’s even harder is seeing the good inside of yourself. You as a human being have so much more to offer than just the way you look. If you think about every good quality you possess and what you have to share with the world, physical appearance will start to seem less and less important. Try it out, you’ll see.
I have found love in myself, for myself, that I never knew existed and I have become more fit and loving than I ever have been because of it.